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Bowel screening

Location

  • Clinics: medical outpatients, level 1

    (best entrance - main entrance)
  • Endoscopy: endoscopy unit, level 1
    (best entrance - main entrance or 24)

 

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About

Bowel screening is provided under the National Bowel Screening Programme for men and women aged between 60 years and 74 years, who are resident in Derbyshire and registered with a GP. 

Invitations to participate in screening are sent automatically every 2 years. This is followed by a faecal occult blood test (FOBt) which looks for traces of blood in the stool which is sent to subjects to be completed in the privacy of their own home.

Individuals who have an abnormal result indicating the presence of traces of blood in the stool will be invited to see a screening practitioner in clinic to discuss the result of their test and assess their suitability to undergo further tests. Most people then undergo a colonoscopy – a flexible video camera examination of the large bowel – this is carried out as a day case procedure within two weeks of seeing the practitioner in clinic.

9 out of 10 patients who have a screening colonoscopy do not have cancer. Almost half of the patients who have a colonoscopy in the screening programme are found to have polyps of their bowel which are thought - in some cases - to have the potential to develop into cancer over a long period of time. Patients who are found to have lots of polyps or polyps which are greater than a centimetre in size may be invited to take part in a polyp surveillance programme.

Our team consists of screening practitioners (SSPs) and screening accredited consultant colonoscopists. We also work closely with the radiology department, colorectal team and histopathology service.

Polyp surveillance

Surveillance colonoscopies are carried out by accredited consultant screening colonoscopists. Patients invited for polyp surveillance will be sent a healthcheck questionnaire to complete and return to the screening centre. Many patients will then be contacted by telephone to co-ordinate their appointment and discuss their returned questionnaire. Some patients may need to attend the outpatients’ clinic to be assessed by a screening practitioner to ensure that it is appropriate to continue with polyp surveillance.